interview by Geeta Dayal
At age 29, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is a rising star in the world of electronic music. Her music was shaped by her years spent exploring the pastoral landscapes of Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, which led to a chance encounter—via a neighbor—with a Buchla 100 modular system. This, in turn, led to an affinity for the Buchla Music Easel, a unique, portable synthesizer invented in the 1970s. After several experiments with releasing her own material, her first full-length album, Euclid, was released in 2015 on the label Western Vinyl. Her new album, EARS, is receiving major acclaim; NPR recently raved that it "elevates the warm pulse of the Music Easel into the realm of the divine" and Spin wrote that Smith's album is "startlingly, richly fulsome, commingling the mysticism of Smithsonian Folkways LPs, IDM’s furrowed futurism, and the free fall questing of Laurie Spiegel’s 1980 landmark, The Expanding Universe."
Here's a nice clear PDF and an FLP file that should explain how to get Virta humming along in FL Studio.
Big thanks to Levendis and deathcomics here on the forums for putting together this info!
The second SMMS meeting will take place at Ada’s Technical books in Seattle on April 1, from 7–9pm. This is a monthly meeting for presentations and discussions about making electronic music.
I'm going to do a gentle introduction to Cycling '74's Max/MSP for the first hour, assuming there is interest. Then we can have an hour for open discussion and working on the web site and such.
Sorry for the very late notice on this month—been a bit slammed with the Virta release but I wanted to stick to the regular schedule.
If you’re interested in contributing something to SMMS, like organizational help, or a presentation of your own, there’s lots of room to do so, so please come by!
[http://seattlemusicmachines.org] has the beginnings of a website (thanks Bryan) and should be the place to go for info very shortly. There will also be a Facebook group soon.
Thanks to Thomas Helzle for this very detailed blog post on how to use Virta in Bitwig Studio. It's not difficult to begin with, and this explanation with nice illustrations and clear directions makes it that much simpler.
This update fixes a problem with audio input for all DAWs on Windows. It is available in the "My Downloads" area if you have a license, and the demo has also been updated. The Mac OS version is unchanged from 1.0.0.
Finally the newest Madrona Labs device, Virta, is out in the world. I hope you enjoy it.
Please head to the product page for sound demos, demo plugins, and of course that handy green "Buy Now" button. Thanks for your support.
Here are some notes I took over the last year as I worked out different aspects of Virta, my new voice-controlled synthesizer. Virta was a set of ideas floating around since four years ago and a conversation I had with a producer friend of mine. He had been talking to another friend who we’ll call DJ X, a person whose records I liked, with a room full of classic synths and a head full of musical ideas, but who nevertheless said what he was wanting most was to just sing and vocalize, play around with mouth sounds, and have that turned into music. This got me thinking about pitch detection and vocoders, and spectral analysis, and modulars...
The Seattle Music Machine Salon is a new monthly discussion group, open to all and free of charge. Each month we’ll have a presentation and a guided discussion on some aspect of making music with computers and electronics. Topics will include the practical and the not so practical: new software and hardware tools, compositional strategies, academic and popular styles of electronic music, its history and future.
Our first event is Friday, March 4 from 7 to 9pm at Ada’s Technical Books in Capitol Hill. Ada’s offers a comfortable, inspirational atmosphere, and great food and coffee. They are at 425 15th Ave East. Please visit their site at http://www.seattletechnicalbooks.com/ for more info and directions.
Everyone is welcome! This includes all ages and skill levels. The aim is to create a diverse group that will expand viewpoints and spark new projects. The only requirements are an interest in the topic and the ability to engage in respectful discussion.
March 4 presentation:
Randy Jones of Madrona Labs will demonstrate his new software instrument Virta, a patchable, sound-controlled synthesizer and effects toolbox.
March 4 discussion topic:
Seattle electronic music resources. What are some important foundations of the local scene for you? What are some less visible resources that should be better known?
Rastko Lazic is a composer and improviser of electronic music based in Yangon, Myanmar. Through the magic of the internet, by which our shared love of weird devices and ideas about sound transcends time and space, many of his works made their way to Seattle. What's in them? A devotional attention to the basic qualities of sounds both found and generated, it seems, and a purposeful collection of digital and analog devices for focusing it.
Greetings! I'm writing to announce the Madrona Labs five-day winter sale, starting now. From now through December 20, all of our software is 30% off. Now is a great time to get everyone’s favorite patchable software synths for yourself or a friend. To get the discount, use the coupon code ‘DOUGFIR‘ on any product page, just above the ‘Buy Now’ button.
If you would like to give someone an Aalto or Kaivo license as a gift, it’s easy.
Just buy the software in the usual way, but enter the lucky person's first and last name instead of yours when you make the Madrona Labs account. Then you can gift your friend the account name and password. Your friend can log in, download the software and change the account email to his or her very own.